Out with the Old
The repercussions of Burberry’s game-changing announcement that next September they will be implementing their straight-from-runway-to-stores model is still being felt across the industry and will be for some time. Enough ink has certainly been spilled in the innumerable think pieces around us asking, among other things, “is this the death of fashion seasons?” – no more shall be wasted here! Still, whatever happens next, this was Burberry’s last show before the shake up later in the year: so was it a fitting swansong to the old order of things?
In with the New?
In a word, yes. It was a collection that looked back in its reverence to Bowie-era glam and forward in its peculiar eclecticism and willingness to delight in incongurences and clashes. First the glam: most obviously, that Bowie glitter eye make up from the men’s show in January returned (no surprises there). Then there was the glitz and flash of fancy, stage-ready materials. That meant green python coats, sequined trousers and lamé dresses in dazzlingly vivid shades. This was a collection that relished the sheer diverse pleasures of fabric: its many textures, colours and idiosyncrasies. Who cares if those fabrics didn’t necessarily “go” together? That’s half the point.
Then there was the modern. The choice to have live music played center stage (literally) throughout felt like a typical piece of Burberry innovation – although admittedly, no one embodies copy cat nostalgia and self conscious vintage-ism quite like Jake Bugg. Then there was the outerwear (that Burberry stalwart and, it seems, always the label’s strongest asset) which took its cues from heritage icons like the duffel or officer’s coat but reworked them with piping or splashes of pattern and mixed media to a frequently surprising and modern effect. Okay, so Burberry’s business ideas and narratives might be sometimes be more progressive than their clothes, but they sure can make a showstopping coat – 10 of them, in fact.